Meet some of the companies who have adapted to make PPE for frontline workers in the Midlands

Worries over a lack of Personal Protective Equipment remain a dominant issue as the coronavirus outbreak continues.

There's an increasing frustration at the government's response to pleas for PPE to keep staff and workers safe on the frontline.

Now, from manufacturers to schools, people in the Midlands are doing everything they can to support the NHS.

Many companies across the region have diversified into producing PPE, with some employers even taking staff off furlough to help.

West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, wrote that more than 360 businesses across the region have now responded to PPE requests.

Meet some of the companies who are now producing PPE in the Midlands

Derbyshire-based company, David Nieper, traditionally manufactures womenswear.

But after finding out that the NHS need around half a million hospital gowns each week they decided to change the way they work.

The company say they've now managed to develop a reusable gown that they think will be able to be washed and used around 50 times. That's 49 more times than the one use plastic gowns that most frontline staff are supplied with.

David Nieper say that they suggested their reusable gown one month ago, but received no response from the government so they went directly to local hospital trusts.

They've now supplied thousands of pieces of PPE to 11 different hospitals.

Credit: ITV News Central

And they're not the only ones going directly to hospitals.

At King Henry VII Senior school in Coventry they're using the Design and Technology department to make PPE visors.

The visors are then being delivered to Birmingham Children's Hospital and other hospitals in the region.

The school say they also bypassed the government when getting their products into the hospitals.

A spokesperson for the school said: "We just messaged out to see if anybody [working on the frontline] needed them and we got parents coming straight back to us saying yeah, we'll take them."

The school is also being supported by the flooring company Amtico.

Staff who were put on furlough have even been brought back to work to help manufacture the components for the visors and are now producing 20,000 per day.

The flooring company from Coventry are helping schools to speed up the process. Credit: ITV News Central

Using 3D laser cutting the schools were making 650 headbands for their visors per week. Amitco have now upped their production capacity, aiming to make 20,000 per day.

The company say that they could see the need for PPE and realised that they had the facilities to help speed up the production process.

However, not all companies with the willingness and the capacity to help have been able to.

One dancewear manufacturer in Rubery told us that they have the facilities to make masks and gowns, but so far nobody has taken up their offer.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said today (April 20) that more than 12 million items of PPE were delivered on Sunday (April 19), but did acknowledge that there was a "particular issue" in relation to gowns.